There were a number of misleading and inaccurate claims published in a letter from Manawatu Tenants’ Union around how Housing New Zealand is managing the issue of methamphetamine (P) contamination in our properties, across the country.
To protect the health and wellbeing of our tenants, Housing New Zealand will test for contamination when we have reason to believe a property is contaminated with P. Housing New Zealand does not carry out ‘random’ testing. We rely on many government agencies including the NZ Police, as well as neighbours and communities to alert us to any suspected drug use. Our staff are also trained to pick up signs of drug use when visiting properties.
If a property is positive with levels above that of the Ministry of Health (MoH) guidelines we would not allow our tenants to remain living in the property and will discuss next steps with them. We do this to protect them, their family, and our communities.
If a tenant is not responsible for contamination, we will support them to move to another Housing New Zealand home. If they are responsible for contamination through illegal activity, we will swiftly terminate their tenancy and suspend them from living in one of our properties for one year. This is not a new approach – our zero tolerance approach to drug use in our homes is part of our long-time anti-social behaviour policy and tenants are made aware of this when they are provided with a state house.
It’s important to remember that those people who contaminate homes by abusing P are depriving others of a home – it is unfair on both those waiting for a state house, who have to wait longer for a house to become available, and on innocent families who may need to move out of their state house if it is contaminated from a previous tenancy.
Paul Commons Housing New Zealand Chief Operating Officer
A P contaminated house is cleaned up.